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Zido_Z

Keeping a College Game Dev Club interesting

2 posts in this topic

So, at my college, there's a new game development club that is entering its third semester. We're a fledging group between ten to forty depending on how many people show up weekly. So far, we've had little informative seminars from peers about the various areas of game development, from sound to graphics from those informed in that aspect of the media. We also have been upping our participation by sharing ideas and even forming into small groups to try to make small games between us.Last semester, we even took a group trip down to Austin GDC. 

 

Unfortunately, there's one problem the club has as a member, and the president has asked us all what we could do to make the club more of a club that will bring people here to stay and remain active, since the number of members dwindle as we go through each week, which may be due to school and not many activity in the club itself. One advisor came to us and said we should actually start showing our games and exposing them to show that the club is doing something. They also recommended participating in events to get our name out there. So far, we have been a bit of a presence at video gaming events that happen ever so often on campus, but it's usually just a table and a sign up.

 

I believe one idea is to have a more elaborate set up at these tables to have people walk over and test games on a nice presentative display.

 

I just wish to have some ideas from others in the community on how I can pitch some ideas in sprucing up this game dev club of ours. Thank you.

Edited by Zido_Z
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I was in student organizations for years and I can tell you biggest mistake that people make is that you never ever measure your success as an organization by how many people show up to your meetings. There's no value in having someone gawk at you, your officers, or a guest speaker for an hour a week.

 

There's only one thing that matters in student organizations: Output that will help you in your career. Once you graduate, how large your mailing list is is a trivial matter. You goal is to churn out as many resume bullets and connections that you will be able to use when you get a job.

 

Secondly, people who just show up to your meeting to stare are going to waste. Give them something to do. Also, you should have means to allow people to propose their own ideas.

 

Thirdly, accountability is everything. Learn parliamentary procedure and take minutes. In the organizations I was involved with, and project/event we started had a charter that specified who was in charge, who was working on it, and a specific outline of the scope and timeline. Projects always go to hell and the first thing people do when things go wrong is not make things better, but start pointing fingers. Make sure people who are honest and responsible are protected.

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If I were looking into joining your club, Because I am interested in learning how to develop a game program, I would want to know what you actually Programmed ?

At your meet and greet tables, are you showing me your club's work ?  or someone else's work ?

If you can show others that they can learn from you by joining your club, then they are more likely to join.

If I am interested in model railroading, then I will join a club that can help me learn more about model railroading.

Poker players join poker clubs to improve their skills.

If you want your club to grow then you need to produce something.  Do something Graphical and have it running when you try to sign people up.  It does not have to be a full blown game, but maybe a small program looping showing a plane, car bird moving  around in a world.

What ever it is, it should be something your club produced, where you could stop the program and show the code that is running it.

I wrote a small program that is nothing more than a constantly twisting rubics cube running in 3D on the screen.  As simple as that is, it does impress people who are interested but have never done anything like that but would like to try.

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